Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s wing gambit and how it is bringing the best out of Paul Pogba & United.

Cavani, Pogba and Shaw’s celebration after United take the lead in 79' min v Spurs.
Man Utd’s buildup pattern in the 0–0 vs Man City in December.
  1. Focal Point up top.
  2. Operated in the left half space.
  3. Centrally as 2-double 10 with Fernandes.

Second: Operated in the left half space.

This second role was the trend that was seen throughout the entire match. Pogba tucked in deeper into the left half space dragging Aurier with him. We saw this in the 1st goal United scored that got disallowed for a “foul” on Son, check second image below. Additionally, Pogba in the left half-space created a huge space on the wing for Luke Shaw.

Pogba in the left half space; An apparent pattern throughout the game.
Pogba in the half space narrowing Spurs defensive line.
Pogba pushed more centrally in the 2nd half.
The double 10 moving around Spurs’ double pivot for United’s 2nd goal.
Mourinho introduced a double pivot to mark Pogba and reduce the space Shaw got.


In the end, Manchester United came out 3–1 winners vs Spurs who just had no answers to United going forward. The key to it all was Paul Labile Pogba — there were others but Pogba was more significant and the article is about his role. Moving on, he played the 3 key roles in the win and despite United losing another forward to a midfielder, the creativity, the agility and the drive power in midfield that the Frenchman brings to this United team was well worth the risk. I called it the Solskjær Wing Gambit, as to me, this was a chess match. And Pogba was a perfectly used chess piece by Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

Man United celebrating Edinson Cavani’s diving header goal.

Final remark

This is the first piece that I wrote in the form of an article. Please share it with your friends and family who love football tactics. I would be extremely appreciative if I get as much feedback as possible. Follow me on Twitter @AbdelBeheri, if you’d like to read more from me. Abdel. :)



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